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Benefits and shortcomings of student loan forgiveness

Shawnna Forget

News Editor

As the Biden-Harris administration implements multiple student loan forgiveness initiatives, namely $9 billion in student loan forgiveness for over 100,000 Americans across many programs. They are ramping up their goal for student loan repayment. The Biden administration is now accelerating messaging about its success.

On Oct. 8, Biden tweeted, “We’ve canceled $127 billion in student debt for nearly 3.6 million Americans.” Student loan forgiveness is a big goal of the Biden administration, but many Americans expect more of this promise.

The figure is attributed to billions in student debt cancellation under the improvement of the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program (PSLF) and the Total and Permanent Disability Discharge (TPD) Program, among others.

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The PLSF program is a critical federal program that can eliminate a borrower's debt after they complete 120 qualifying payments — the equivalent of ten years. The Education Department states the current administration has already approved $45.7 billion for 662,000 public servants through the PLSF. However, the PLSF has been troubled by inadequate supervision, resulting in mistakes, rejections and low approval rates when it was kicking off.

The TPD is available to borrowers who suffer severe medical problems. To qualify for this aid, you must provide adequate documentation to prove a mental or physical disability from the U.S. Department of Veterans Assistance, Social Security Administration, or a medical provider.

The shortcoming of these loan repayment programs is the time it takes for repayment. Borrowers report an inadequately staffed student loan repayment system, long hold times on phone calls and irregularities in calculating monthly student loan repayments.

Despite the $127 billion in student loan repayment approvals, many Americans still see that as a fraction of the $2 trillion in outstanding student debt.

The next wave of borrowers could be notified anywhere between November and December.

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